uOttawa campus.

About the Faculty

The Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa, along with its commitment to the promotion, advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of education, is actively involved in the pre-service and professional development education of teachers.

Our mission

Our faculty, in sync with a constantly changing society, plays a proactive role within the University. Our key priority is to help bring about justice and equity through education. Working closely with our partners, we create services, programs and research that further knowledge advancement, development of educational practice and training of innovative leaders. We are particularly focused on our diversity of partners, seeking to strengthen current collaborations while creating new synergies everywhere. Collectively, our goal is to play a key role in the evolution of education, thus contributing to shaping an inclusive, harmonious future. 

Our faculty has five main areas of strategic interest :

  1. Educational innovation: We position ourselves as drivers of innovation, always looking for new methods and tools to prepare future educators.
  2. Ontario francophones: We’re proud of our rich heritage within French Ontario, and are committed to contributing to it actively and developing French-language education in minority settings.
  3. Indigenous rights: We respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action in collaboration with Indigenous communities, thus contributing to the implementation of Indigenous rights.
  4. Educational technology: With three decades of experience, we remain at the forefront of online, blended and distance education, while continuing to innovate in digital instruction.
  5. Equity and social justice: At the crossroads of language and culture, we advocate for the basic values of equity and social justice for all. 

Dean Richard Barwell

Professor Barwell began his career at the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, where he earned a PhD in education.  In 2006, he joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and is currently a full professor.  He has served on a number of committees and held several positions within the Faculty, including Director of Graduate Studies (Anglophone Sector) from 2012 to 2016.

His research focuses on mathematics education, with particular interest in the role of language in teaching and learning mathematics. This interest first arose prior to his university career, when he taught mathematics in the United Kingdom and Pakistan. Recently, he has studied how math education can address climate change.

Professor Barwell declared: “I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to lead the Faculty, with its excellent programs and world-class research. I look forward to strengthening our local and international partnerships. And I will work with my colleagues to ensure that the activities of the Faculty reflect the communities we serve, including Franco-Ontarian schools, urban classrooms and indigenous communities. In the 21st century, education, in the broadest sense of the word, is crucial. The Faculty of Education has an important contribution to make.” Dean Barwell will be pleased to welcome students, professors and Faculty administrative staff at weekly open door sessions that will begin in February.

Person standing in front of coloured glass panels


Ottawa Normal School and École normale

The early development of teacher education in Canada's Capital, however, preceded the foundation of the actual Faculty by nearly a century.

On October 22, 1875, honourable Egerton Ryerson, Ontario's education superintendent-in-chief at the time, inaugurated the Ottawa Normal School, which later became the Ottawa Teachers' College. In an era of great political turmoil, less than a decade after Confederation, the opening of this first teacher training school in Ottawa allowed then Premier of Ontario, honourable Oliver Mowat, to announce the imminent establishment of a provincial department of education, which would later become the Ontario Ministry of Education.

In 1923, public dissatisfaction with Regulation 17 (a law forbidding instruction in French beyond the first two years of primary school) led to the creation of the francophone École de pédagogie by the University of Ottawa's Senate. Under the leadership of Father René Lamoureux, O.M.I., this institution adopted the name École normale de l'Université d'Ottawa in 1927.

The Faculty of Education

Fate brought more changes in the post-war years and, following numerous discussions with the Ontario government, the Institute of Education and Psychology for graduate studies opened its doors in 1965. Two years later, it was divided into two separate entities with the birth of the Faculty of Education on April 10, 1967. Doctor Lionel Desjarlais was the first dean.

Between 1955 and 1967, the University of Ottawa conferred 372 baccalaureate degrees in education, 244 master's and 57 doctorates. "We now have, in the field of education and research, an experience as rich as that of any other Ontarian institution," declared the rector of the University, Father Roger Guindon, O.M.I., during a convocation ceremony on June 4, 1967.

On August 14, 1969, the École normale de l'Université d'Ottawa, which had operated under provincial authority, was integrated into the University of Ottawa's new Faculty of Education. Five years later, on September 1, 1974, following the McLeod Report recommendation regarding the transfer of normal schools to the domain of universities, the Ottawa Teachers' College (formerly the Ottawa Normal School) was annexed to the Faculty of Education.

Lamoureux Hall

At this time, however, the offices accommodating the various Faculty units had not yet been grouped together under one roof. For example, the francophone normal school, whose head office was still located in the former Greater Seminary of Ottawa on Kilborn Street, was six kilometres off from the main campus. At the same time that the eastern bank of the Rideau Canal was undergoing a modernizing expansion, the University of Ottawa erected Lamoureux Hall, named in honour of the first director of the École de pédagogie in 1923. The building was completed in 1978.

The Faculty of Education entered a new era in 1995 with the opening of the Learning Resource Centre and the Resource Center for Research in Education, while important changes to the administrative structure and to programs considerably modified its curriculum. The Ontario College of Teachers was established in 1996 and officially recognized the baccalaureate in education programs (Teacher Education and Formation à l'enseignement) in 1999.

Lamoureux Pavilion in summer

“The Faculty [...] owes its existence to people of vision, who fought tenaciously to give the field of education its rightful place among the University's teaching and research disciplines.”

Doctor Lionel Desjarlais

— Founding Dean of the Faculty

Person being interviewed by media,; video camera

Find an expert from our Faculty

Connect with the uO Media Relations team directly at [email protected].
Search the Experts Database